From the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project:
“Some 73% of online adults now use a social networking site of some kind.
Facebook is the dominant social networking platform in the number of users, but a striking number of users are now diversifying onto other platforms.
Some 42% of online adults now use multiple social networking sites.
In addition, Instagram users are nearly as likely as Facebook users to check in to the site on a daily basis.”
So social media is a powerhouse of communications but does it impact everyone equally?
I understand social media and famous people, major entities and corporations. It’s amazing how many people are willing to follow anyone backed my millions (billions?) of dollars in traditional news coverage and advertising.
But for the 95 percent of us who operate websites who do not fall into that category, please tell me how Facebook and other social platforms work for us?
This site addresses the needs of government, nonprofits and associations and social media DOES provide us with unique opportunities “but” the numbers coming back to our websites are small.
Does social media drive significant traffic to our websites ? In most cases, the answer is no.
It’s also “no” for the vast majority of small businesses.
Social media embraces the few backed by big money and big publicity; it really doesn’t help those who need it the most; it doesn’t bring people back to our home base.
Are there exceptions? Heaven’s yes, there are many.
But a very common statement I get is that, “I spend a considerable amount of time on social media and engage in lots of conversations but regardless of the traffic there, it really doesn’t mean traffic here” (on their websites).
Social experiences will differ depending on the topic and the user base. The observations below come from WordPress’s wonderful end of year reports:
For Http://MyLifeAudio.Com, most of my social media referrals are from Linked-In, Reddit and Stumbleupon
For Http://leonardSipes.Com, most of my social media traffic is from Linked-in, Twitter and Facebook
For a professional site I help administer with others we get social traffic principally from Facebook, Yahoo groups and Stumbleupon. For my federal websites, it’s mostly Linkedin.
But with all my websites, I get the majority of my traffic from search. Note that new sites will get most traffic from social media until they attract followers and/or get links.
So what do we need to do to get traffic?
Focus on making your articles as search friendly as possible with a careful choice of key words and giving your audience what it wants, not what you think it wants. I would also post frequently; at least three times a week.
Stick with re-posting on social media; figure out which social site works for you via topics and demographics. Just don’t expect huge amounts of traffic back to your website. Use Pew Internet research to guide you.
For many of us, our e-mail list is of the utmost importance. Don’t hesitate to ask supporters to pass your information along to their networks with encouragement to visit your website.
For sites that do not get a lot of traffic (unusual sites like Http://MyLifeAudio.Com ) I’m trying Google’s AddWords.
I note that for some sites (Http://LeonardSipes.Com ) I will forever be in competition with others who are long-established for the topics of social media and public relations. I accept lower amounts of traffic and do articles for personal and professional fulfillment. I’m not going to be in the top ten and I gladly accept that.
But it’s interesting that my best site (the professional site I do with others) gets a considerable amount of traffic principally because we address a topic not well covered by others. Sometimes, success is about the topic and not about the amount of effort.
What suggestions do you have for the 95 percent of websites who don’t get a lot of traffic from social media? We look forward to your suggestions.
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